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Director Christo Tomy – ‘Ullozhukku is based on a startling incident in my life’ | Exclusive

Christo Tomy discussed how a real-life event inspired him to make Ullozhukku in an interview with OTTplay. The film, starring Parvathy Thiruvothu and Urvashi, will release in theatres on June 21.

Director Christo Tomy – ‘Ullozhukku is based on a startling incident in my life’ | Exclusive
Christo Tomy | Photo: Instagram

Last Updated: 06.11 PM, Jun 20, 2024


Christo Tomy, best known for his work, Curry and Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case on Netflix, is getting ready for the release of his Malayalam directorial, Ullozhukku. In the movie, the story of a family in Kuttanad, Kerala, who were forced to wait for the flood waters to recede before burying a loved one in the monsoon season is told. The audience has high expectations for the film because it stars two of India's best actresses, Parvathy and Urvashi.

The young director discussed how a real-life event inspired him to make a movie in an interview with OTTplay. He also talked about how happy he was to be working in this field right now.

Urvashi, Parvathy Thiruvothu and Christo Tomy at the sets of Ullozhukku
Urvashi, Parvathy Thiruvothu and Christo Tomy at the sets of Ullozhukku

Curry and Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case and Ullozhukku appear to go into further detail about the sinister secrets that exist within a dysfunctional family. What would you say about them?

I think they are completely different from each other. While Ullozhukku can be better described as an emotional family drama with characters that have so much depth and essence to them, Curry and Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case was completely crime-based.

Is Ullozhukku based on any actual events that you have witnessed or heard about?

Yes, the film is based on an incident that happened in my family in Kuttanad. My grandfather passed away in 2005, and we had to delay the funeral until the monsoon floodwaters receded. The startling experience stuck with me, and when I made the decision to become a filmmaker, I made the choice that this would be my first project to direct.


You mentioned that you were offered Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case. Which aspect of the script or any other factor genuinely inspired you to work on it?

To put it simply, I will follow an idea only if it excites me, and certain stories just communicate that they should be told. I thought the plot of Curry & Cyanide: The Jolly Joseph Case was intriguing, and the characters had way too many nuanced aspects. Although the subjects of Ullozhukku and the Netflix web series may seem to have a dark undertone to some, I purposefully do not focus on producing films in the same genre. I would love to work on a comedy or action film. Communicating emotions is what I am keen on.

The release of your movie coincides with a conversation about women's representation in Malayalam cinema. What are your thoughts on this matter?

I did not intentionally choose to include female protagonists in my projects. Upon contemplating both projects, I was left with two questions: who will find the journey more challenging? And in any given situation, who will have more on the line? Women, I think, do.

In terms of Ullozhukku, it was a time-consuming project that required a substantial budget—perhaps too much for a movie primarily focused on women. Along with a number of other factors, the Covid-19 situation also caused a delay. It is understandable that producers occasionally have second thoughts about providing funding for a film with a strong female lead, as financial success definitely counts. It depends on how these kinds of projects are received by the public. If it's good, more producers will approach these films.

Additionally, over time, there will be more films focusing on women. Filmmakers, in my opinion, should concentrate on providing the audience with quality content and characters that are well-rounded.

What is it like to be a part of the film industry and release your first movie, particularly at the 'right' time for Malayalam?

To put it briefly, I am ecstatic! The fact that the majority of Malayalam films this year have been well-received not only in Kerala but also internationally is heartening. Even more intriguing is the fact that every one of them portrayed a distinct style of its directors. For example, even though Aavesham has a commercial bent, Jithu's distinct sense of humour is present, and experimental black-and-white films like Bramayugam were huge hits. I am excited to release my movie at a time when the Malayalam film industry has gained popularity worldwide for its productions.

Urvashi mentioned that you waited for four years for her to be a part of this project. What made you decide to hold onto this choice for so long?

Without a doubt, the movie is the answer. You will see why I made this choice after seeing Ullozhukku. Nobody else, in my opinion, is currently capable of pulling off what Urvashi Chechi did in this film. I am eager to see how viewers react to her and Parvathy's performances in it.

Which projects do you have coming up?

There are several projects being discussed. I am also just starting discussions about doing a web series in Hindi. I only try to concentrate on making wise choices.

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